Effective on December 4th, 2017
Parents/Guardians are now required to provide documentation for ALL of their child’s absence within 3 days of returning to school in order for the absence to be considered excused. Students with a health condition that causes periods of absences should also provide documentation from a doctor. As a safety procedure, parents should report their child’s absence by calling the main office for elementary and middle schools and the attendance office for the high school. A call does not excuse the absence. In the event that an excused absence is going to be prolonged, the parent should contact the school and arrange for assistance to complete coursework.
Attendance is one of the most important success factors in your child’s academic career at Romulus Community Schools. A student who is present every day, on-time, for the entire day develops strong ethics for education and career aspirations. Chronic absenteeism has a significant impact on a student’s education. Students in early elementary grades who are frequently absent struggle to read proficiently and experience difficulty in other subjects. Chronic absenteeism in middle school grades is a key predictor that a student will drop out of high school. High school students with a history of truancy are far less prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood. As a community, we can help students build habits to enjoy and appreciate learning and graduate them to a world of possibilities. The attendance policy for Romulus Community Schools is a communication line between home and school that keeps everyone involved in the student’s education informed and proactive. Please review the following policies and procedures so your child has the best opportunity for a quality education.
Types of Absences:
Excused absences are legitimate reasons for a student to not be in school and can be documented. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Student illness/injury with doctor’s note
- Medical appointment
- Funeral/death of an immediate family member
- Court appearance
- Celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
- Professional appointments such as medical, college visits, or military
- Extreme family emergencies
- Other reasons approved by the building’s administrator
Unexcused absences are missing any part of the school day without a legitimate reason. Unexcused absences are considered truant and should be avoided. Students and parents shall be subject to the truancy laws of the State. Examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Transportation problems
- Missing the bus
- Bad weather
- Caring for relatives
- Willful truancy
- Missing school sponsored activity, such as a field trip
- Skipping class periods
Vacations should be planned during the District’s scheduled holidays and breaks outlined in the school calendar. Being absent for part of the school day will accumulate to a full day’s unexcused absence resulting in a truancy action.
Suspensions are authorized absences that are not categorized as excused or unexcused. However, suspensions have negative consequences on a student’s academic success. A student’s suspension absence will reflect as an unexcused absence until the office discipline referral is processed.
Truancy is defined as having any unexcused absences from school during a period of time. Michigan Compulsory Attendance Law (MCL 380.1561) states, in summary, that children must attend school every day, be on time, and attend every class every day as determined by the school’s attendance policy. The District’s truancy actions are in place as supports to help parents and students improve attendance. These actions include:
- 5 absences - Elementary teacher or office staff calls home. Secondary attendance personnel sends a letter home. Email should be used if parent/guardian cannot be reached by phone.
- 8 absences - Elementary teacher or office staff sends a letter sent home by U.S. mail informing of accumulating absences and proceeding steps for chronic absenteeism.
- 10 absences - Referred to the building administrator for intervention support. (If intervention meeting is missed, a parental responsibility citation will be issued by the School Resource Officer)
- 15 absences - Referred to the school resource office and/or 34th District Court. (Truancy Citation and/or Parental Responsibility Citation)